Dating Myself

I took myself to dinner the other day.

Except, I’m poor and cooking is fun, so I made myself dinner, opened a decent bottle of wine and left my phone far away.
I talked a lot. I’m glad my flatmates weren’t around.
It was like going on a date with a good-looking, intelligent, funny partner – only better, because I could interrupt myself whenever and not get into trouble. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
When things went bad in relationships, I’d often resort to meals to sort shit out. “Let’s go for dinner” I’d say whilst meaning “Let’s go for dinner and discuss your depression and the best steps for getting you to deal with it…again.” And then the dinner would be awkward. There’d be huge gaps in the conversation that gave birth to grotesque statements about the weather whilst we danced and skated in a parody of happiness around the issue. I don’t think we ever tasted the meal.
I’d thought I could sort out my issues over my meal.
The nice thing about running both sides of a conversation is you don’t have gaps in the conversation. You never quite end up saying “weird, it’s Saturday and the sun’s shining. I wonder why.” You say stuff like “So this whole pain/pleasure thing that might possibly be linked to self-hatred and masochism” then you interrupt yourself to say “Damn this steak tastes so good! Have you tried it with the wine?” “Yeah I have, and I’m loving the fried apples and onions!”
I’m not burying it. I’m not denying it. Every time I look at my arm I’m reminded. And every time I’m reminded, I want to do it again.
Not for the mutilation: for the pain. For the control. For that little tingle of pleasure that runs up my arm to my spine and sits there, giggling happily.
It’s weird.
My dinner found other things to talk about. Like my writing. Like my studies. Like the next 11 months (and 2 days). I didn’t make plans. I held onto ideas and swirled them with the wine and the steak and the apple and the onion and the sauce. They tasted good.
Once the meal was finished, I headed to the pub. This was a bit surprising: following a date at home, I seldom go out. I’m always “too tired” or “too antisocial” – both excuses for “I’m too coupley”. But I’d promised myself I’d go and I couldn’t disappoint me, so off I went.
I’d hoped to meet people there, people who’d said they’d try make it, but I suspected I’d be drinking alone. I was quite right. I was a little surprised when I walked in and two girls stopped chatting to two guys to straighten their backs and eye me repeatedly. I ignored them (I don’t know why) and ordered a drink.
I realised quite quickly that I couldn’t expect things to happen to me. No one was coming to drink with me, so I had to go drink with them. I found two colleagues having a night off and talking wine: I chased them through a history of cocktails and alcohol as the bar closed and we made a mess discovering just how strong a proper cocktail should be.
And then I stumbled home to bed with me.
And when I woke I realised something: I’m happier alone.
Advertisements

Happy Foots

I went for a walk this morning. It took me and a hot coffee over wet grass to a small bench and – when I looked back – I realised my feet can’t even walk straight.

I like feet. I especially like small feet in high heels with painted nails and the right amount of sensitive spots.
So when I shared a bed with Dutchy and we slept back to back on opposite sides of the bed and she kicked her feet back and tucked them between my legs because “they’re cold” I discovered I was very much awake.
And I really wanted to sleep. I’d had four hours the night before and had to walk two dogs in five hours. So I told her about me “liking” feet. Normally, if I say anything that slightly resembles a move on her, she increases the distance between us tenfold.
This time, she simply responded “Oh. I like that being done to my feet. Now I’m turned on.”
She then insisted on swapping sides of the bed. Which involved climbing over me. Which reminded me that, though she’s not my ideal (her bum’s too small, for one), she’s still incredibly hot.
She curled herself up against the wall, pushed her feet back between my legs and fell asleep in 13 seconds flat.
It took me quite a bit longer.
 I’d already accepted that I’ve fallen in love with her. Not as in “OMG I want to bang you really bad, you’re so hot” but more as in “Let’s go sit on a beach under the stars and cuddle and talk and kiss…and then let’s find a bed and fuck  – hard.”
All of which proves to me that yes, you can fall in love with someone platonically; that yes, love is definitely and inescapably a choice; that yes, it doesn’t need to be acted on; that yes, you can love more than one (or even two) people at the same time.
It also reminded me of all the reasons I don’t like relationships.
There’s a sense of entitlement to a relationship – a sense of ownership. Your actions are no longer your own, decisions are shared. You become “someone-and-Gareth” and refer to yourself as “me-and-someone” and somewhere in that hyphenated world you can lose all sense of who you are.
And that would be ok, if life were simpler. If life was all about getting married and having kids and creating a family and identifying as said family and that was all I-and-whoever wanted and had ever wanted, then losing myself in those hyphens would be perfect.
But if that were me, then I’d probably not be interested in the people I am and I certainly wouldn’t be writing.
It doesn’t matter to me if she loves me back or not.
Because when I woke up in the morning (feet still entwined) the attraction had faded with the alcohol. It’s still there, but it’s not a motivator. I was kind of happy when she left: my space was back.
And though my space is lonely, it’s mine. It’s been damaged and bruised and hurt by the expectations and conditioning of a generalised populace, but it’s still there.
It’s hard to stay in that space though. I keep having thoughts along the lines of “I should totally ask her out.” I can never work out why, though. Why should I ask her out?
And there isn’t a single reason that comes from in me. I don’t even know what answer I’d want from her. It just feels like the norm. “oh look, pretty girl, you like her, ask her out.”
I don’t get the need to add a label. And what I’m slowly realising is that what I have with Dutchy is what I’d like with many people (although, I’d prefer it if sex and lips and tongues and feet slipped into those relations).
She does not make me happy, but I can create happiness with her. Just like I can with Porsches and writing and whisky and math and drifting and books, though to a more complicated degree. And that’s what I want: people with whom I can create happiness – who preferably have sexy feet.

I’m ok

It took me 10 minutes to pile all of her things on one side of the room, ready for her to pickup. I didn’t feel a thing. There was nothing as I picked up her collection of perfumes and nail polishes, nothing as I piled up her books,nothing as I took down her clothes. I knew she wouldn’t take long to get here. Once she was here, she could take her stuff and be gone. Out of my life. Nothing left. Just me – free.

For some reason, I couldn’t quite read the words on the cds. I couldn’t work out which where hers and which where mine. I just kinda stared at them, trying to classify them – if they’re about cars or movies that make me cry, they’re mine, otherwise hers. But I couldn’t remember which ones made me cry.

She arrived whilst I was still bent over them. And she just kinda stood in the room, staring at the growing pile of stuff in the corner. Her eyes sprung a leak.

It’s not like either of us have an easy life. It’s not like either of us is worse off than the other. It’s not like either of us is not giving their all.

But there is so much fucking anger inside of me, I’m struggling to forgive. I’m struggling to see another side of the picture. All I see is my view, and my view is all that matters. Everything else is an excuse, a reason to not love me, a reason to not want me.

It’s so hard to keep trying when you feel you’ve given your all, and the only thing left is your anger and you don’t want to share that at all.

Her stuff’s back where it belongs now. It stayed sitting in the corner for a day. It made my room lonely. Where before there’d been little essences of femininity, there were now simply stark walls. So I returned it all from where it came, I replaced those touches that sparked off memories and thoughts and good ideas and my room is mine again.

Am I happy?

No.

Every day is the same day with different spelling. Every day, the same patterns, hopes, dismays, dreams and anger blaze through. I’m slowly being crushed under a weight I can’t hold.

I’m not fucking giving up. God no.

There is no going back. There is no “it get’s easier.” It fucking doesn’t. don’t fucking lie, it never gets easier! It only ever gets harder, there’s always more to add on, there’s always more to do, there is no quick fix, there is no point, there is no attainable dream.

The only options are to give up or to get stronger. Stronger and stronger, till what was heavy is light and light is unnoticeable. Stronger, until what took everything takes nothing and smiles are easy once more. Just keep fighting, keep pushing, keep holding on. The only easy way out is death, and that comes eventually so I may as well keep holding.

I don’t know if it’ll be enough. I don’t know if I can make it through. But I’m going to try. Though it hurts and every part of me is telling me not to, is asking what’s the point, I’m going to try. Just in case I can.

$1000 flight

My car has an unsightly dent in its face.

It’s quite distinctive now. You can see people dismiss it the moment they see it – unless the lights are on. Pop up lights are fucking awesome.

I discovered recently that – for some unbeknownst reason – the value of a Mazda Astina has risen. Every other car I’ve been looking at has dropped over the last two months. The Astina has gone from an average $1400 to an average $1600.

I could fix my car and sell it for a resulting $1000. Which, as I discovered on Sunday night, is more than enough for a one way ticket to the UK, leaving next Wednesday.

I dislike stuff and clutter. Some of it is necessary. But, if I were to leave, I could sell it all fast. Easily. Not perhaps for an accurate value, but for something. Enough, totaled, for a base in the UK.

A fresh start. A new beginning. To no longer deal with all this crap. To simply say “This is no longer my problem, bye bye.”

To no longer have nights substituting crap games and bbw porn for intimacy and sleep. To no longer wake and long for sleep. To no longer spend evenings knowing one drink would calm me, but one drink won’t end. To no longer fall asleep, exhausted, with wet pillows and twisted blankets.

To spend days smiling, not hiding fears and worries and regrets and anger. To write without wrestling words away from their emotions. To work without calculating how much exactly I can actually use.

When told, Someone simply stated “Well go. You have nothing stopping you.”

But there is something stopping me: Me.

I can’t run away from problems.

Not simply because running away never works. Not simply because it’ll make bigger problems. Not simply because the easiest solution is seldom the best.

But because I couldn’t be me if I did.

To run away and “start afresh” would have one intention: finding myself. Losing myself in order to find me is rather circular and a waste of time. Ultimately, 5 years down the line, I’ll be in a similar situation facing similar problems with similar escapes. The only difference: It’ll be five years too late.

I’ve been told I’m “too soft”. I think I’ve been told that so many times it might make a good tattoo – strategically placed. I’m too soft, apparently, because I’ll keep taking shit from people and just deal with it. Or, try to. When there’s little but shit my way it becomes a bit difficult to deal with it all – one pile at a time please. It makes it hard to see sexy people too.

This is something I distinctly dislike about myself. And yet it’s been something that’s true of me for a little over 25 years. Every time I try to change it, it ends up rearing it’s head in another, sneaky way.

I realise now it’s because I can’t be me if I’m not…accepting? Perhaps that is a better phrase than “too soft”.

Happiness is often linked to selfishness – “You can’t be happy if you don’t look after yourself.” I completely agree with that – “me first” is an ideal required to be your best. I add to it though.

Instead of simply saying “Do what makes you happy”, I tell myself “Do what makes you happy without impairing others’ happiness.”

It switches the focus. Instead of an immediate, almost gratuitous, happiness, it looks at a long-term happiness – a happiness that supersedes the current time and plans for tomorrow.

A friend told me – and I’ve mentioned this before – that “you can’t find happiness. It doesn’t exist as a place or object. You need to make it. Create Happiness.”

Like any creative work, it doesn’t happen overnight. It isn’t easy. You don’t (or at least, I don’t) create a book by starting with a book.

I start with an idea. A story. The plan, the overview. A bit of research takes place, attempting to find places where I might encounter problems.

That’s the easy bit. There’s still no book.

Then the writing begins. At first it seems easy: x number of words? Simple. You just press 6x keys. At y keys an hour, that’ll only take 6x/y hours and then the book is done!

But no.

Because the words have to come from somewhere. They have to be carefully extracted from the contents of your thoughts, stripped of personal emotion and sewn into a volatile narrative.

And hell, that hurts. But finally, you’re done. There is a story, written down with your words. It’s wonderful. Masterful.

But just a draft.

Editing is worse. Editing is reading over your scars and deciding that they don’t add to the story, so they have to go. Editing is finding a scene that dripped down your face as you wrote and finding it lacking in emotion.

Editing is what finally makes a novel worth reading.

But you’re still not done.

There’s cover design, beta reading, publicising, re-editing, re-researching…it begins to feel like there is no such thing as an end. Bookshops, libraries and authors in Porsches prove otherwise.

But there is no ending to happiness. There is no point where you stop and say “Wow! I’m happy! I can’t stop now.”

You simply have to carry on.

The first step isn’t the easiest. The first step is looking at yourself and saying “Hey, I love you.With all your faults and idiosyncrasies. I think you’re awesome, just the way you are – and no one knows you better than me.”

And I can’t take that step with a $1000 ticket. I can’t take that step by running away. I take that step by stopping, turning, taking another blow on the cheek and knowing I’m going to be ok.

———

A post really worth reading: 30 things to  stop doing to yourself.

 

(Also: this has got to be the first post ever to mention bbws, cars, math and writing)

Given up

This one is going to be hard to write.

I hate giving up on things.

I’ve done it so many times. My life feels like an unfinished story of incomplete tales.

I know there’s a point where things must end and other things begin. I know that’s not giving up. But so many things have ended in commas, I know they’re not complete.

So many friendship’s casually sunk. Jobs that simply paid out. Relationships that hit rocks and drifted apart. Dreams that fell and shattered.

Every time, I’ve simply given up.

There is nothing I can point to and say “There! There is something I completed” Or “There! There is something I gave my all to.”

All I can do is point and say “I did that and that and that and that.”

I looked around for a new job today. It turns out, I have a range of incompatible skills and limited experience in each. There is no one thing I can do.

I hate it. Because I don’t want to give up. Because I fucking love this Salesman role. I love the stupidly long and busy days. I love the negotiations with clients. I love the stories and the people and I love the being me. But I have few sales. And so I have no money.

It is horrible loving something you’re terrible at.

It;s worse loving someone who no longer loves you.

Just Boom. Out of the blue between the eyes the delayed answer “No, I don’t anymore.”

Perhaps not so out of the blue.

Perhaps a little expected.

Perhaps a little needed.

It wasn’t exactly a pretty fight. But god above I’m such a pushover.  I can’t stand to see Someone cry. So I can’t hurt. Not deliberately. Not in retaliation. The words bile up my throat and choke upon my heart.  Stupid thing.

A fight ends in singleness. And then we sit inside the things that defined us most: our cars. Mine before hers. And we sat and we thought and I couldn’t fucking take it so I sat down on the floor and I said I don’t give up on you anymore.

Because I can make her love me again. I know all the little things to make her think she loves me. Those are easy, but those aren’t what I mean.

No, to make her love me – love me like she used to – there’s no sweet gifts or little surprises. No. Those are me loving her. Or should have been.

No, for her to love me is more than that.

I have to love myself.

Because if I can’t love me, if I can’t look at me and say I’m worth all these things, then why should anybody else?

They shouldn’t. You shouldn’t.

Yes, I’ll fall and I’ll crash and life will be a terrible mess but that’s ok because I can get up again. Because that’s what loving is.

Loving is not lying on the floor and crying, beating fists uselessly against the soft carpet. Me loving me is taking the shit of today and saying I’m still good enough. It’s learning from yesterday without being yesterday.

It’s not giving up because things are tough. It’s getting back down and saying “What can I do better?” or “I did that to the best of my ability.” It’s standing up straight and saying I’m weak and I fail and that’s completely ok. It’s being able to look at things and ask myself honestly whether it’s working or not, and if it’s not, to go walk away from it.

Because that’s not giving up. That’s moving up. And that’s all there is to it.

Pussy 101

Don’t you just love pussy?

I do.

Especially when you storm out the house late at night in little more than underwear and sit under a tree. You slap away mosquitos and imagine a world where the worst has happened and you can just leave it all behind.

Out of nowhere sounds a meow. A small, vibrating mass of fur walks up and headbutts you with enough force to start a minor earthquake. You stroke his head and he meows and purrs and walks off, looking back at you. Because everything else is fairly fucking directionless – and those mosquitos are fucking annoying – you follow.

A racing WRX sounds in the distant, doing “the loop” – a lovely stretch of road that I’ve also driven way to fast through. He’ll reach the road at about the same instant I do if I walk down now. He’s going very quickly. I should teach him a lesson.

Which, frankly, is a stupid idea because I think he has the right idea. I’d love to be doing that right now. I’d be so pissed off if some angry idiot decided to step in front of me. Why?

The cat meows and there’s only one thing I can do: head home and claim the cat loves me more than she does because he came after me.

Because, obviously, that’s the point of all this shit.

“If you cared for me, you’d come after me like the cat did!”

Did you know that? You can only show you care if you go after someone who’s walked off. And walking off? Is that caring?

Somehow, I don’t think so.

Happy 1 year love. Yep. It’s our anniversary today. And we spent the night fighting. I even had to throw all our alcohol down the drain because I thought downing shots of Vodka would help.

It didn’t. It just made me realise that – no matter how much I drank – I’d never forget everything.

Which is a huge pity. Because I wanted to forget everything. Or, many things. I wanted complete and utter emptiness. Just take it all away. Everything, every relationship, every request, every desire, every dream, goal, wish, accomplishment. Just give me sweet nothing and a way to survive. Please.

Then there’d be no pain. There’d be no hard decisions. There’d simply be today. Every day. Nothing happens. A holiday, really.

Dating sucks.

I miss being single. I miss the selfishness. I miss the required soul-belief. I miss my decisions being mine – including their consequences. I miss the times spent doing exactly what I want. I miss the ability to honestly lie and say “I’m ok.”

I miss the simplicity of being happy single. I miss the rejection and bouncing back from my own wallowing because there’s no one else to save me. I miss the ability to say “I’m going to do this” and being the only one accountable for it.

But most of all, I miss knowing – constantly – that I’m alone.

Because a relationship pretends you’re not alone. A relationship pretends that because Someone else cares for me, She’ll come after me and make it all better.

It’s so easy right now. All I have to do is sulk. Someone joined OkCupid. She was still setting up her account when the first person messaged Her. Within the hour, She had messages flying in. Some of the people messaging Her were seriously attractive. And they want to meet up…now. Right. Now. Or else tomorrow if you’re free?

Considering I’ve spent many hours attempting to send the wittiest messages to every girl it is heartbreaking to know that She doesn’t have to try. It sends my self-confidence free-diving. In a locked Audi. Filled with cement. In the Mariana Trench.

(Some guy just sent “If you were a triangle, you’d be acute one.” Which doesn’t even make sense.  Oh, best pickup line, guaranteed to send girls squealing in terror (seriously, I tried): Lick your finger, then wipe it on their clothes. Say “Let’s get you out of those wet clothes.” )

Seriously, it would be so easy to sit here and sulk. Because I told her how I’m feeling. I keep opening Facebook and hoping she’ll reply and talk to me about it.

It’s truly pathetic.

Because I also told her earlier I want to do other things – I don’t want to talk on Facebook all night.

It doesn’t matter what she does: she’ll be in trouble. She can’t fix it. She can’t come after me and make everything better. There’s no possible way for her to do this.

The only person that can make things better is me.

And that is why I need to realise I’m alone. Because only when I realise I’m alone will I realise I must make the effort. Only then will the change be made.

Only when I realise that I’m alone can I begin to make our relationship work.

And if I don’t realise I’m alone? I’ll definitely end up so.